Our Vegan Diet Almost Killed Us. You Won’t Believe The Reason Why!
The vegans are probably already upset and skeptic, since they have been numerous articles with similar titles and topics circulating around the internet for long. Usually, the case you have read is a case of a person who was technically vegan, but has been suffering from some serious eating disorder as anorexia or even the lesser known, ‘orthorexia’ as well, or they have been on a restricted calorie cleanse consisting of lettuce water, or they might even have been homicidal, crazy parents who have been feeding their baby one carrot a day, or the like. We do not know how, but people like these still manage to end up on the Today show with book deals.
Well, to say from the very beginning, this story is not one of those. I and my fiancé have been on a regular vegan diet and it almost killed us. That is why we highly recommend you to read through this article, especially if you are thinking about veganism or you already are a vegan.
The Best of Intentions
People probably become vegans from really, really good reasons. Simply put, they have learned that it is up to use whether we want to pay people to breed and intentionally kill vulnerable animals for our pleasure, or not to do that. In my opinion, these animals are as worthy as our pets, in terms of both life and love.
Then, people find out that eggs and dairy products are also bad as animal meat is, since the newborn males are an unfortunate byproduct of egg and dairy production and are usually killed, and their sisters and mothers need to produce before being butchered once ‘spent’ a mere fraction into their lifetime. So, people hear and learn that this is a part of typical, normal process and that the farms are ‘humane’, small, organic, local, cage-free, pastured or free-range.
Then, people learn about the numerous scientific and academic sources that indicate that vegan diets are maybe the most significant environmental effort people can make, and they require about half the water and emissions to produce compared to standard Western diets. This is becoming more mainstream information, particularly since Cowspiracy hit Netflix.
And yes, another important thing I forgot to mention is that vegans learn that diets based on plants feed more human beings. The Chemical and Engineering News has recently published a cover story in which the production of meat and animal products is explained. It is said that this production requires a great number of animals raised on huge, unsustainable amounts of plant protein. They also add that if people who can afford meat switch to plant proteins, they would go a long way to feeding the growing global population while rationally using the resources of the planet.
So, how can we go on doing nothing and approving this human-created nightmare called animal agriculture when we could just make a pretty simple, doable lifestyle change to create less harm?
Those were the reasons because of which we decided to go vegan. We knew we were doing the right thing. I had been completely vegan for nearly three years after experimenting in different degrees of vegetarianism throughout my life. My fiancé Craig went vegan after a few months we had been together.
What We Ate
This is not one more of the negative stories of vegans consuming very restrictive diets, and we have been consuming basically everything under the sun but animal products. Craig is a wonderful cook, and I know some thing as well. There are more than 20,000 edible plant species on our planet you can choose from and millions of ways to enjoy fresh, frozen and prepared vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, beans, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, legumes and more, so it was not hard. We have been preparing amazing and delicious cheeses, ice creams, sausages, gravies and other specialties, all without animals. We had plenty of choice; it was not like we were stranded on a desert island without food alternatives. Also, when we did not feel like cooking, we could go to the store and choose some yummy pre-made vegan meats and cheeses, even after we moved from an urban to a rural area.
We were consuming tasty, nutritious foods basically every day with few exceptions, like when I went to that business trip I was stuck with omnivores who looked pityingly at my salad and plain baked potato at the restrictive omni restaurant they took me to. Afterwards, I had gone to have some real meal at Native Foods. However, in general, we managed to find vegan meals almost everywhere, even in some popular chains such as Taco Bell, Subway, Chipotle etc.
I used to use an app for determining the amount of protein I had taken in, and I usually had more than enough even just by lunch. I also always took multi-vitamin every day even when I was omni, and that habit did not change, except that I started taking vegan-friendly version of those vitamins every time I remembered to. These vitamins included vitamin b12. I used to take in salt, which is iodized, I took in folic acid thanks to the numerous packed goods, and vitamin D is added to cow’s milk, so we opted to get a nutrient obtained from bacteria in isolation instead from the flesh and fluids of an animal.
So What Went Wrong?
As you already noticed, we were taking in all our nutrients just like everybody else and we were completely healthy. I had my hair still on, I had not wasted away, my iron levels in the blood were high, and when I was doing my annual physical checkups, I was never told that anything was remotely amiss. Also, even though I worked in offices where I was regularly in contact with colds and flus, neither of us had gotten the flu since going vegan, or even much of the sniffles.
Sometimes, I faced some social challenges, like when my uncle asked me why vegans do not care more about people. My answer was that despite what he said, we do not kill and eat people, either. He had nothing to say afterwards. Another situation of this kind was when the waiter accidentally put dairy milk in my oatmeal, instead of throwing a tantrum, I politely asked for another bowl.
I have not mentioned so far that Craig is a molecular biologist and I myself have an MBA in environmental management, so we tried not to intentionally harm ourselves to avoid harming others. But that was our intention, and we thought we did it. After all, even the American Dietetic Association/Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its international equivalents had confirmed that the vegan diet is healthy and appropriate for people of all ages, even despite the anecdotal bias-affirming claims that say the contrary. No medical associations were given to claim otherwise or to say that the flesh or fluid from any animal is somehow needed to treat, cure or prevent any illness or deficiency. Additionally, there is a great body of evidence that indicates that animal products do not do the body good.
So, now you probably wonder how our vegan diet almost killed us. It was several months ago when we ran out of cashew milk (one of the numerous delicious non-animal milks) and bananas. I used to consume shakes every day around mid-afternoon, using vanilla, chocolate, dates, peanut butter, berries and the like, and of course a frozen banana for the creamy base, and that was my replacement for ice cream, with the difference that it tastes even better and it is much healthier. You can also combine it with chia, hemp or flax seeds and Brazil nuts if you want.
That is why we headed to the grocery store in order to get some more milk and bananas, and as we were crossing the street to the store, a car came out of nowhere and it almost hit us! It was so close! That could have been our end. We almost got killed by a car!
Now, if you think about it, if we had not gone vegan, we would not have run out of cashew milk and we most likely would not have been drinking a mid-afternoon shake since we probably would have still been in a food coma from eating severed birds’ wings or a ribcage with mammary secretion dip or something else that the omnivores consume nowadays. It holds water, right?
Can you believe that even after that critical day, and even despite the fact that our vegan diet almost killed us, we are both still vegan? Well, you’d better believe it, because the answer is: yes, we are.
We decided that we will still disapprove of paying people to do things like firing bolts into sweet animals’ brains and slitting their throats, grinding up the newborn males’ chicks in macerators, placing the ‘spent’ hens in gassing chambers, forcing the females to lactate by impregnating them and then removing or killing their babies or forcing them into the same servitude, depending on their gender, turning the ‘spent’ animals into hamburger meat, removing fishes from the quickly depleting oceans to become ‘seafood’ no one needs, or farm numerous fishes for more manufactured seafood no one needs again, or steal honey we also do not need from bees which have produced it for their own needs and which we have to sedate in order to take it from them. I see that as aliens breeding humans for taking their ear wax.
Actually, if you think about it, the global human population has reached seven billion humans and seventy billion farmed animals, so we have decided to stop paying people to artificially inseminate animals. And when we mentioned the topic of diets killing people, maybe the focus should be on the numerous pervasive lifestyle illnesses either directly caused or greatly exacerbated by animal-derived foods, many of which do kill people. Actually, heart disease is one of the rarest diseases in vegans, and it is the number one killer of people.
This is why Craig and I continued eating delicious, nutritious food every day even after the scary ordeal we went through and even after we almost died because of it. We are that dedicated, you see.
So, after all, we succeeded in peeling back the multiple, complicated layers of confusion and thought dissonance we have gotten from a lifetime of sensationalist articles like the one you though you are going to read now. We have perpetually been exposed to the same repeated myths and wrong information about the origin of the nutrients and we have been told the same old fairy tales about farming animals for their flesh and fluids. Now, we want to increase the natural wisdom and empathy for animals, animals which are both cute and living individuals whom we respect enough to leave them alone and not eat them.
We will not give up, so careless drivers and annoying lifestyle bloggers be damned!
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